Friday, June 25, 2010
The Wedding Industrial Complex.
A wedding: the legal and spiritual contract of two people who love one another and want to bind together for the rest of their lives. Beautiful in its simplicity-- two people find one another, fall in love, decide to spend their lives together-- a wedding ceremony seals them to one another. On that day, heaven shines its light on two fortunate beings and fate smiles upon them for having found their way to one another.
But because we're human, a thing that should be kept meaningful and private will eventually morph into a complicated and messy perversion of the original intent. The Wedding Industrial Complex (TWIC) is to blame.
TWIC is comprised of businesses who insist their presence in YOUR wedding is a must--florists, calligraphers, photographers, venues, DJs, caterers, dress makers, tailors, hairdressers, make-up artists, limo drivers, party rental places-- or your day (and thus YOU) will be a complete failure. TWIC wants a slice of your wedding day. TWIC will weasel their way into your plans and your wallet.
Used to be the bride bought a dress, the groom wore a suit. The couple showed up at an appointed time at the church of their choice, their families and some close friends witnessed the ceremony. The cleric read a few words. The groom put a ring on the finger of the bride. They kissed and left the church. Everyone would go to the home of some maiden aunt, where punch and cake are served. Guests waved while the newlyweds got into a car and went someplace for a honeymoon.
Those days are dead and gone.
TWIC realizes brides are just arrogant enough to think their wedding day is the most important day in the history of the world. The bride is encouraged to think this way, which leads to a lot of stupid behavior.
The next time you're at a store with a decent magazine rack, go ahead and count the number of bridal magazines. I'm guessing you'll see at least five publications dedicated to TWIC. The pages of those magazines are stuffed with ideas for a wedding. Engagement rings. Announcements. Gowns. Veils. Tuxedos. Registries. Venues. Travel ads.
Turn on the television. At any given time of day, it's easy to find a television show about weddings. "Bridezillas", "Say Yes to the Dress", "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?", "My Fair Wedding".
This is TWIC in action. They've created a multi-billion dollar industry that didn't really exist until about 25 years ago. My hat's off to them for their creativity.
Over the next few posts I'll examine TWIC and how it has changed how we celebrate weddings-- the good, the stupid, the tacky, the expensive, the silly.
Join me and as always, I'm really excited to hear what you think.